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National Botanic Garden

National Botanic Gradens, Windhoek © Thomas.macmillan
National Botanic Gradens, Windhoek © Thomas.macmillan

The National Botanic Garden of Namibia is a 12 hectare (30 acre) nature reserve in the heart of Windhoek, where tourists can hike, picnic, and learn about the country's fascinating plant life. Developed in the early 1970s, it initially had a number of walking trails and a dam.

The small nature reserve only opened to the public in the 1990s. It's an educational and recreational facility open for free to locals and foreigners. Much of the garden isn't landscaped, allowing visitors to explore the environment in its wild and natural state.

The gardens are great for birdwatching, with lists of plants and birds found in the reserve available at reception. Guided tours are also in operation but should be booked in advance. Those making use of the designated picnic areas need to bring their own food as there's no shop or restaurant.

The gardens can get very dry in winter, between June and September, and are at their most splendid when the plants are lush and in bloom during the rainy season, which is the best time to visit. The Desert House in the gardens displays some fascinating desert flora throughout the year.

Website: www.nbri.org.na/?id=51

Opening times: Monday to Friday: 8am to 5pm. First Saturday of every month: 8am to 11am.